This weekend, over 4,000 LGBT activists and allies are gathering in Houston, Texas for Creating Change, the National Conference on LGBT Equality, hosted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. The conference kicked off Thursday night with an opening keynote by Laverne Cox from Orange is the New Black. She spoke about her own experiences as a transgender woman of color and addressed the injustices that trans women of color continue to experience.
Invoking Cornell West, Cox told the audience that, “Justice is what love looks like in public.” “”When a trans woman is called a man,” she said, “that is an act of violence.” But “loving trans people,” she believes, “is a revolutionary act.”
Cox is currently developing a documentary about CeCe McDonald, a trans woman of color who was imprisoned for defending herself from racist, anti-trans attackers. “She defended herself because she refused to be a statistic,” Cox said. Applauding the growing awareness and visibility of trans people, she proudly proclaimed that “for the first time, we are setting the agenda for how our stories are told.”
Watch Cox’s full remarks: